Poster for the movie "Brotherhood of Blades 2"

Brotherhood of Blades 2

The team behind the Chinese movie ‘Brotherhood of Blades’ (2014) returns with an action-packed sequel (technically a prequel) that places the heroes back into a conflict-ridden Ming Dynasty.

Poster for the movie "Youth"


Performing art troupe members each face their own trials and tribulations in Chengdu; from escaping a family scandal to dealing with unrequited love, each experiences rejection that shapes their lives in this coming-of-age tale selected to play at the Toronto International Film Festival. Directed by Chinese helming legend Feng Xiaogang.

Poster for the movie "Free and Easy"

Free and Easy

Under a tin-gray sky, in a hollowed out corner of northern China, a stranger arrives in town bearing magical soap—but smelling it will cost you. Nearby, a pair of unenthused cops try cracking a seemingly simple case. Or not. And you can forget religious solace; the only monk around is not what he seems.

Poster for the movie "Xiao Shan Going Home"

Xiao Shan Going Home

Xiao Shan, a temporary worker at the Hongyuan Restaurant, has just been fired by his boss Zhao Guoqing. Deciding to leave Beijing and returns to his home in Anyang, he goes to see a series of people from his hometown who have also been living in Beijing-construction workers, train ticket scalpers, university students, attendant, prostitutes-but no one wants to go back with him. Dispirited and confused, he searches out one after another of his old … Read more

Poster for the movie "1911"


At the beginning of the 20th century, China is in a state of crisis. The country is split into warring factions, the citizens are starving, and recent political reforms have made matters worse, not better. The ruling Qing Dynasty, led by a seven-year-old emperor, and his ruthless mother, Empress Dowager Longyu is completely out of touch after 250 years of unquestioned power. Huang Xing has recently returned from Japan, where he has studied the art … Read more

Poster for the movie "My Beloved Bodyguard"

My Beloved Bodyguard

A retired bodyguard who has settled into a corner of the world where China, Russia and North Korea meet as he suffers from early dementia finds a new friend in a young girl. When her life is threatened by her father’s connection with a local crime lord, .the bodyguard must call upon his long forgotten skills to save her.

Poster for the movie "Mojin: The Lost Legend"

Mojin: The Lost Legend

At the beginning of the 1990s, famous tomb explorer Hu Bayi decided to retire and move to the United States with his girlfriend Shirley. But before his wedding, Bayi discovers his first love Ding Shitian, who supposedly had died in the “One Hundred Cave” 20 years ago, is actually still alive. Together with Shirley and his old exploration partner, Bayi unravels a terrible millennium-old secret…

Poster for the movie "The Monkey King"

The Monkey King

Sun Wukong, (The Monkey King) is a monkey born from a heavenly stone who acquires supernatural powers. After rebelling against heaven and being imprisoned under a mountain for 500 years, he later accompanies the monk Xuanzang on a journey to India. Thus, according to legend, Buddhism is brought to ancient China. This much beloved story, is as much a part of Asian culture as The Iliad and The Odyssey or The Wizard of Oz are … Read more

Poster for the movie "Throne of Elves"

Throne of Elves

In the mythical Elven world of Altera, an epic battle unfolds between the beautiful Princess Liya and the Dark Elf Elena, who has gained possession of a jewel so powerful it allows its holder complete authority over all Alterans.

Poster for the movie "Sudden Lover"

Sudden Lover

Romantic thrillers are a rare breed in the mainland Chinese film industry, perhaps because in a closely censored film industry without ratings (in which all films need to be suitable for children), it’s hard to get the balance right for this particular genre: sexy, noir-ish, dangerous, and commercially appealing. First time director Hao Ran takes on the challenge in Sudden Lover, adding some flavours from youth film and police procedural in the mix. The results … Read more


Sister Jiang

In 2002 at the invitation of the German World Art Festival, director Zhang Yuan presented the opera with Zhang Huoding in the title role as Jiang Jie at the Cologne Grand Theater – the first major presentation of a revolutionary opera in Europe. Zhang Yuan made a film version of the production in 2003.

Poster for the movie "Ip Man"

Ip Man

A semi-biographical account of Yip Man, the first martial arts master to teach the Chinese martial art of Wing Chun. The film focuses on events surrounding Ip that took place in the city of Foshan between the 1930s to 1940s during the Second Sino-Japanese War. Directed by Wilson Yip, the film stars Donnie Yen in the lead role, and features fight choreography by Sammo Hung.

Poster for the movie "I Am Not Madame Bovary"

I Am Not Madame Bovary

Li Xuelian, a woman from the countryside is falsely accused by her husband of having an affair. To defend herself, Li moves from her small town to the big city until she reached the capital.

Poster for the movie "The Monkey King: Uproar in Heaven"

The Monkey King: Uproar in Heaven

Mythical ancient China. Born from some magic stones that fell to Earth a long time ago when Goddess Nüwa mended the sky, Sun Wukong, aka Monkey King, lives on Flower-Fruit Mountain, where he leads a community of other monkeys with his magical powers. One day, after breaking his halberd, he learns he can get a new one from Dragon King of the Eastern Sea, whom he visits in his underwater lair. Annoyed that Monkey King … Read more

Poster for the movie "A Lingering Face"

A Lingering Face

A Lingering Face follows an everyman named Lei Haiyang (Pan Yueming), who has recently broken up with his girlfriend. Deciding to go to Beijing, he hitches a ride with a driver (Ma Xiaoqing) and a fellow hitchhiker, Yanzi (Li Min). Waking up from a nap, Haiyang finds the truck parked in the woods and the driver raping Yanzi. Hiding in the undergrowth, Yanzi sees Haiyang, but does not reveal his hiding position. Terrified, Haiyang runs … Read more

Poster for the movie "Forbidden City Cop"

Forbidden City Cop

Set in Imperial China, Stephen Chiau plays Ling Ling Fat, one of the elite Emperor’s guards in the Forbidden City. However unlike his colleagues he doesn’t know anything about Kung Fu or other martial-arts, but instead uses his time to make futuristic inventions. So when the emperor is kidnapped and the world most beautiful geisha comes to town Fat has to use his brain to get things done.

Poster for the movie "From Beijing with Love"

From Beijing with Love

After a giant dinosaur skull is stolen, the head of the Chinese secret police decides to assign the case to the force’s most incompetent reject: a rural butcher who stands around all day drinking martinis (shaken, not stirred). With a trunkload of insanely useless gadgets and a contact who constantly tries to kill him, the young agent must locate the skull and find out just what is going on here.

Poster for the movie "The Phantom Lover"

The Phantom Lover

In 1936 China, a nearly bankrupt drama troupe starts performing in a burned-out theater where the great actor Song Danping was killed. One of the actors, Wei Qing, starts seeing strange apparitions that could revive his troupe and deliver him to the same fate as Song Danping.

China’s “Red Light Revolution”

Interview with Sam Voutas, director of “Red Light Revolution“, a Chinese comedy like you’ve never see.

The plot of “Red Light Revolution” from the official Chinese point of view can be considered sensitive. How did you manage to avoid Chinese censorship? Did they change something in the screenplay?

Beware of old men carrying scissors. That’s a good rule, because if they’re carrying scissors, then no matter what is around them, they’re likely to start cutting things out of habit. So you’re talking about a lot of artistic concessions when that happens. I was afraid that afterward, my movie would no longer be my movie, it would no longer say what I wanted to say. And isn’t that the goal of any work, to say something? One person who used to work for the censors told me to change the movie’s topic in order to get it through, he suggested the movie should be about a Beijinger who opens a tea shop. “Green Tea Revolution”. Perhaps I’m stubborn. Besides, censorship is a long and tedious business. If anything, why not take the initiative and censor me to save everyone the meetings and paperwork? I had a radical thought recently that having the movie shown uncut would be nice. I quickly censored that thought and gave myself a thoroughly deserved self-criticism.

Samo Voutas

Red Light Revolution takes place in Beijing. How local people thought about it?

I was surprised at how much fun people had actually. The crew had a great time doing crazy things with the toys between takes, and then everyone involved wanted their own toy as a memento when we wrapped shooting. But then some of the crew didn’t want to choose their toys in front of everyone else, so they waited until no one could see them before choosing.  I think this is a good example of how attitudes are changing. Even outside the set we’d often have pedestrians just peering into the windows. Zhao Jun, our lead actor, even took one of the toys, stuck it to his head like he does in the film’s trailer, and stood out in the hutong, a giant dildo stuck to his head. Construction workers stopped what they were doing and came over to have a look. That was a real hit, it definitely made their day.

Sam Voutas on set

I’ve seen you love Michel Gondry and Stanley Kubrick movies. Did they influence you?

You know it’s interesting, I think both directors shoot really great comedies. That may seem strange to say of Kubrick, who’s associated with more confronting material. But so many of Kubrick’s films are at heart absurd and dark comedies. But I enjoy both directors’ work because they really do push the boundaries with each of their films. And I think that’s really the goal of anybody who does art, to try to push the envelope, if only just a little. Otherwise we’re just in a cycle of constant repetition and regurgitation.


Was it difficult to direct a film in Chinese Mandarin?

Absolutely! Directing in English is hard enough, but in Mandarin it was three times as difficult. You lose a lot of the subtleties when it’s not your first language. Like the word “smirk”, I may want to use that word to an actor. Now that word has a real flavour to it in English, but how do I say that in Chinese and still retain the humour? I had a great crew to not only give me support, but who were able to add a lot of the local humour to the film. I’ve found there’s no better way to improve on my Chinese language skills than in a local sex shop with forty cast and crew.


How the Chinese attitude toward sex is changed in the last decades?

Well, when I came here in the 80’s it was a different kettle of fish. Even though I was a boy, I remember that couples didn’t really hold hands outside much, many pedestrians still wore grey socialist outfits, and the most risque foreign movies playing in the cinema were films like “Cannonball Run” with Burt Reynolds. But stuff was changing. I remember seeing Cui Jian play at Maxim’s in the late ’80s, and then some really radical art started emerging, my parents took me to some of those. Then of course in the early ’90s, the adult shops got approved to open. I think that change in China is pretty evident everywhere really. A friend of mine was in a Beijing cab the other day and his driver suddenly turned to him and started saying all these sexually explicit terms in English, really bad swear words. Where did he learn this stuff? On TV? I don’t think so.


Do you think the movie will be well received by the Chinese audience?

I was in a Beijing sound editing studio yesterday, making changes to the film’s sound. Before long all the technicians came in to watch. They were young graduates from the Beijing Film Academy. They sat down on the couches, just relaxing, laughing, enjoying themselves basically. As a director, that’s pretty much all you can ask for, after all the hard years of work, that total stranger can relate to what you’re saying and understand the humor.

Interview with Melanie Ansley, “Red Light Revolution” producer


Did you find many difficulties in order to get permission to shoot the movie?

In China it’s not shooting the movie that’s difficult, it’s getting it screened once you’ve shot it.  We found most locations very willing to cooperate, and very few people were concerned about whether we had a screening permit or not.  So in many respects, the system isn’t geared to stop you from shooting what you want, rather it’s the fact that distribution is so tightly controlled that deters many filmmakers.  That said, there’s definitely more than one way to get something done here, you have to think creatively about what you have and who you know, and decide which door to knock on–sometimes it’s not the most obvious one.

In China, isn’t really easy to shoot an independent movie. Was it difficult to pitch the project and get a proper budget?

In some ways, it’s actually easier to shoot an independent movie in China–in our case for two reasons.  One, there’s no government subsidy or film funding body here, so right off the bat, you’re not expecting to walk the road of making applications and waiting for results.  You know that you’re going to have to go private, whether that’s through selling a kidney or finding sponsor companies.  So that forces you to act faster because you aren’t having to schedule in 6 months of waiting for funding decisions.

Second, we had an advantage that we were shooting on a RED camera, and RED hadn’t yet become widely used in Chinese independent film circles; even now there are very few mainstream directors here working in the RED.  This meant that we had a lot of people willing to work with us who would have otherwise not been involved, just because they wanted to gain some hands-on experience with these new cameras.  I’m not sure we would have had the same draw elsewhere since it seems everyone is shooting on RED nowadays.

The movie will be distributed in China?

Though nothing’s certain in filmmaking, I can’t see the “Red Light Revolution” not being distributed in China in some way, shape, or form.  Especially as China invests its movies through non-traditional media like the internet much more than we do in the West.  I have been asked repeatedly by Chinese viewers who’ve come across the teaser when they can see it in cinemas, and I’m currently talking with a few mainland producers about that possibility.

Someone once asked me, “Is China ready for this movie?” I think Chinese audiences are definitely more than ready for this movie, it’s whether the bureaucracy is ready that’s the question.  I won’t deny it’s a challenge, given some of the local requirements, but I believe a little bit of creative thinking gets you far, and maybe we’ll even come up with a new method of distributing movies here along the way.

Interview: Matteo Damiani
Links: Facebook Fan page, Sam Voutas Blog

Poster for the movie "The Great Wall"

The Great Wall

European mercenaries searching for black powder become embroiled in the defense of the Great Wall of China against a horde of monstrous creatures.

Poster for the movie "Boonie Bears: Homeward Journey"

Boonie Bears: Homeward Journey

Briar Bear, Bramble Bear & friends enjoy life in the woods when Logger Vick begins chopping down trees to get money to go home for the holidays. As Logger Vick is homesick, they hatch a plan to get Vick home in time for the holidays.

Poster for the movie "Buddies In India"

Buddies In India

Following his father’s deathbed confession about the location of his last will and testament, Tang Sen (Bai Ke) packs up and heads to India with his friend Wu Kong (Wang Baoqiang) in search of it. Along the way, the merry duo becomes a motley crew, enlisting a loyal but quirky fighter (Yue Yunpeng) and a cagey but beautiful woman (Liu Yan), all while experiencing the mysteries of a magical land that both helps and hinders … Read more

Poster for the movie "Ip Man 2"

Ip Man 2

Having defeated the best fighters of the Imperial Japanese army in occupied Shanghai, Ip Man and his family settle in post-war Hong Kong.Struggling to make a living, Master Ip opens a kung fu school to bring his celebrated art of Wing Chun to the troubled youth of Hong Kong. His growing reputation soon brings challenges from powerful enemies, including pre-eminent Hung Gar master, Hung Quan (Sammo Hung). However, when corrupt colonial officials stage a life-or-death … Read more

Erdos Rider

Three stories and about love, fate, misunderstanding, desire and birthplace linked together by ingenious details. From the plains of in Mongolia to a hotel room in Beijing and back. A beautiful fiction debut by the maker of the award-winning The Land. Time and the impossibility of reconstructing the past form the themes that bring together the three stories in Erdos Rider – just as previously in Wang Haolin’s 2009 film The Land (at that time … Read more

The Promised Land

Ling Ai and He Jiang are young, ambitious, and in pursuit of careers imported from the West, but romantic longings and career ambitions are inevitably shaped by larger social forces.

Poster for the movie "Underground Fragrance"

Underground Fragrance

The lives of three people entwine in Beijing’s Underground City. Yong Le, a young migrant worker from the south, salvages furniture to re-sell. He lives in a room in Beijing’s Underground City, a labyrinthian former bomb shelter that serves as cheap housing for people looking for opportunity in the big city. But after a bad work accident leaves him temporarily blind, he has to use a rope to find his way around the dimly lit … Read more

Poster for the movie "Tharlo"


Tharlo is an orphan. Now grown up, he makes a living as a sheep herder in the village. He has grown a ponytail, so people simply call him “Ponytail”, since nobody remembers his real name anyway. Tharlo has a remarkable memory. He remembers so many things, except his own name. He is now in his forties, and he has yet to have his first woman. Now Tharlo goes to town to take a photo for … Read more

Poster for the movie "Mr. Six"

Mr. Six

Many years ago Mr. Six was a notorious gangster. That was back when there was still such a thing as honour among thieves, when criminals earned respect and maintained principles. These days Mr. Six is all but forgotten, a living relic residing in a narrow alley. One day Six’s son, Xiaobo, is abducted by some spoiled punks after he scratches their precious Ferrari. Mr. Six realizes that he must do whatever it takes to get … Read more

Poster for the movie "Brotherhood of Blades"

Brotherhood of Blades

Set in the late Ming Dynasty, “Brotherhood of Blades” tells of three close friends who serve as Jinyiwei guards. They are dispatched by a palace eunuch (Nie Yuan) to hunt down Wei Zhongxian, a eunuch politician who had been forced to resign from his influential post and exiled from Beijing. The Jinyiwei brothers return successfully from their quest, only to find that their task was but the beginning of a strange conspiracy.

Poster for the movie "Breakup Buddies"

Breakup Buddies

Recently cuckolded and reeling from a messy divorce, a hapless former singer hits the road – and the bar – with his all-too-helpful best bud, in this hilarious romantic comedy.

Poster for the movie "The White Haired Witch of Lunar Kingdom"

The White Haired Witch of Lunar Kingdom

In the twilight of the Ming Dynasty, the Imperial court is plagued by corruption as tyrants rule over the land. With the Manchurians preying on a weakened empire, war is imminent. To save the victims from their suffering, sorceress Jade Raksha fights the soldiers that oppress people for their own gain. As payback, local government officials decide to pin the murder of Governor Zhuo Zhonglian on Jade, turning her and the members of her cult … Read more

Poster for the movie "Iceman"


In the Ming Dynasty, there lives four orphans, Ying, Sao, Yuanlong and Niehu. Raised in Taoyuan Village, the four are as closed as brothers. Their exceptional martial arts skills allows them to reach the highest rank within the imperial guards. After the four successfully killed the Japanese troop leader, the Emperor orders Ying to escort the Golden Wheel of Time from Sindu (now India) back to the capital, which is said to have the power … Read more

Poster for the movie "Farewell My Concubine"

Farewell My Concubine

Abandoned by his prostitute mother in 1920, Douzi was raised by a theater troupe. There he meets Shitou and over the following years the two develop an act entitled, “Farewell My Concubine,” that brings them fame and fortune. When Shitou marries Juxian, Doutzi becomes jealous, the beginnings of the acting duo’s explosive breakup and tragic fall take root.

Poster for the movie "Green Tea"

Green Tea

A mysterious woman frequents tea shops and other places looking for the right man. A cup of green tea will show you the way to find your true love.

Poster for the movie "Cell Phone"

Cell Phone

Written by Liu Zhenyun, based on his own novel of the same title, the film revolves around two successful men whose marriages were wrecked when their wives uncovered their extramarital affairs through traces left in their cellphones. More broadly, the film explores the role of cellphones in interpersonal relationships in modern China, where the rapid development in information technology is having huge impacts on the way people communicate.

Poster for the movie "Shower"


An aged father and his younger, mentally challenged son have been working hard every day to keep the bathhouse running for a motley group of regular customers. When his elder son, who left years ago to seek his fortune in the southern city of Shenzhen, abruptly returns one day, it once again puts under stress the long-broken father-son ties. Presented as a light-hearted comedy, Shower explores the value of family, friendship, and tradition.

Poster for the movie "The Monkey King"

The Monkey King

Havoc in Heaven, also known as Uproar in Heaven, is a Chinese animated feature film directed by Wan Laiming and produced by all four of the Wan brothers. The film was created at the height of the Chinese animation industry in the 1960s, and received numerous awards. It earned the brothers domestic and international recognition. The stylized animation and drums and percussion accompaniment used in this film are heavily influenced by Beijing Opera traditions.

Poster for the movie "Red Light Revolution"

Red Light Revolution

A luckless Beijinger opens an adult shop to make ends meet, sparking a sexual revolution in his conservative neighborhood.

Poster for the movie "Fujian Blue"

Fujian Blue

In the wake of China’s open-door policy in the early 1980’s, Fujian was one of the first Chinese coastal provinces to be opened to the outside world. Many of the male residents opted to go abroad for work, leaving behind their wives and families. Two decades later, Fujian is a microcosm of Chinese modernity: there are palatial suburbs populated by lonely “remittance widows”; neon-lit discotheques frequented by karaoke kids; coastal villages inhabited by impoverished fishermen … Read more